Than the swallow understands;
Hear him sing--and tell a story--
Snap a joke--ignite a pun,--
'Twas a capture--rapture--glory,
And explosion--all in one!
Though he hadn't any money--
That condiment which tends
To make a fellow "honey"
For the palate of his friends;--
Sweet simples he compounded--
Sovereign antidotes for sin
Or taint,--a faith unbounded
That his friends were genuine.
He wasn't honored, may be--
For his songs of praise were slim,--
Yet I never knew a baby
That wouldn't crow for him;
I never knew a mother
But urged a kindly claim
Upon him as a brother,
At the mention of his name.
[Illustration: Never knew a baby that wouldn't crow for him]
The sick have ceased their sighing
And have even found the grace
Of a smile when they were dying
As they looked upon his face;
And I've seen his eyes of laughter
Melt in tears that only ran
As though, swift dancing after,
Came the Funny Little Man.
He laughed away the sorrow,
And he laughed away the gloom
We are all so prone to borrow
From the darkness of the tomb;
And he laughed across the ocean
Of a happy life, and passed,
With a laugh of glad emotion,
Into Paradise at last.
And I think the Angels knew him,
And had gathered to await
His coming, and run to him
Through the widely-opened Gate--
With their faces gleaming sunny
For his laughter-loving sake,
And thinking, "What a funny
Little Angel he will make!"
THE HAPPY LITTLE CRIPPLE
[Illustration: The Happy Little Cripple--Title]
I'm thist a little cripple boy, an' never goin' to grow
An' get a great big man at all!--'cause Aunty told me so.
When I was thist a baby onc't, I falled out of the bed
An' got "The Curv'ture of the Spine"--'at's what the Doctor said. I never had no Mother nen--fer my Pa runned away
An' dassn't come ba